Monday, May 11, 2015

Find a Wine Tour

Going to Napa Valley would be a dream.  I've never been!! (Insert distressed emoji here.)

I figured that, here in NYC, my opportunities for a Napa-like experience would be limited.  Sure, there are wine stores that offer tastings (done that!), but the concrete jungle is otherwise nothing like Napa.

Then, my friend Alyssa signed us up for a "Wine and Music Tour" out in Long Island!



It's made just for Manhattanites: a Hampton Luxury Liner charter bus departs from Midtown and drives wine-lovers to three different wineries on the North Fork of Long Island.  Alyssa and I always have a great time together, plus we both love wine.  The day was topped off by the perfect weather--low 70s and clear skies. Couldn't have asked for anything better!

We met up on the corner, chatted our way through the two-hour ride, and stepped out into the sunshine of North Fork.  We'd spend an hour each at the first two wineries, and two hours at the last.


First stop: Osprey's Dominion


We both loved the open feel--large windows looking out over nothingness--just the vineyard!  It was such a nice change of pace from the busy, crowded city, where the sky is hidden by buildings.

Osprey's provided a set list of taste offerings for us.  Some white, some red.  The list is below, if you're interested.

The first wine we tasted was our absolute favorite.  The others at Osprey's were good, too, but the first sip was uncontested. Even after the other vineyards, the first wine remained our favorite. Good thing we each bought a bottle to take home!

Our favorite: Osprey's Dominion 2013 Sauvignon Blanc


The second vineyard we stopped at--Duckwalk Vineyards--was just a minute's drive away.

As we got off the bus, they gave each of us tickets to use per tasting.  This way, we got to choose for ourselves from their large selection of tastings.

Picking for ourselves was nice, but the wines were so-so. We didn't love any of them.  We did like the little dark chocolates that came with the blueberry wine, their specialty.




Jason's Vineyards was our final vineyard stop, where we'd rest for two hours enjoying our wine, some live music, and a late lunch.  We each brought our own lunch, but purchased some cheese on site to pair with our wine.



Jason's was by far our favorite place of the day.  They also gave out tickets and had the perfect amount of options (not as overwhelming as the previous place, but enough that we had some flexibility).

The servers were exceptionally more friendly and engaging than the first two places, who seemed overwhelmed by the number of people and impersonally poured our glasses. At Jason's we got personalized attention and recommendations based on how well we liked each previous taste.

(Jason's was also the only part of the tour that also included the live music aspect, which was nice but definitely not the main draw.)

-----

Returning home, we were tiiired.  The bus was far more quiet as everyone began to doze off after the long day.

Interested in a similar tour??  Spring and summer -- perfect time to hit the road.  Scout out your options on the Hampton Luxury Liner website, or keep an eye out for special coupon/discount deals. Alyssa bought our tickets on a deal through pulsd New York City. Maybe you can find something similar!

Not from NYC?  See what your area has to offer!  Google is your friend.  "Wine tour near _____." Go. Dare you to.

Then you can be this happy, too...



If you enjoy wine and the great outdoors, I highly suggest this little city escape! 

Thank you, Alyssa, for making this happen! To next year, in Napa ;) 

4 comments:

  1. We live not too far from a bunch of vineyards upstate (finger lakes) and always have a blast wine tasting there, it is so much fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ohh what a great area! I've only been up once but didn't get to visit an actual vineyard. Glad you have a nice place to go :)

      Delete
  2. That is so cool that you got a Napa type of experience near New York CIty. In my mind, I just assumed that there would never be space enough for a winery and vineyard like that. However, from your pictures, it almost seems as though you're a million miles from the city. Did it feel that way?
    http://www.winedirt.com/

    ReplyDelete
  3. That is so cool that you got a Napa type of experience near New York CIty. In my mind, I just assumed that there would never be space enough for a winery and vineyard like that. However, from your pictures, it almost seems as though you're a million miles from the city. Did it feel that way?
    http://www.winedirt.com/

    ReplyDelete

I would love to hear from you! Please share your thoughts, ideas, and experiences below: